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6 Wild Things To Do With The Family In Kansas City This Weekend

Senior Airman Tabatha Zarrella
U.S. Air Force
Get your LARP (live action role playing) on this weekend in Kansas City.

We are taught to control ourselves. To harness primal urges. To keep it together.

Well, not this weekend, gang. Without intending to undermine the familial fabric of society (much), here are some alternative wild things to explore with the kin and kin-friendly this weekend, including wild beasts, wild dreams and wild warfare with would-be hand weapons.

Whack! Ow, what happened to would-be?! Stay wild, weekenders.  

1. ‘Dinosaurs Revealed’

Although dinosaurs no longer rule the Earth, they still have the power to wildly fascinate. Twenty-six life-size animatronic dinos are the main attraction at “Dinosaurs Revealed,” and without the pesky downside of family crowds perchance becoming snack food. Still, pulses may quicken at the life-like movements and sounds of Tyrannosaurus Rex and its prehistoric pals. The exhibit also offers the opportunity to familiarize yourself with fossilized dinosaur remains, engage with interactive exhibits and learn about real-life dino excavations from on-site paleontologists. Dig?

Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $15, $17.95 (ages 2 and younger free).

2. ‘The Nutcracker’

It’s all a wild dream that keeps getting wilder until the little girl dreaming it wakes up in the Kansas City Ballet’s acclaimed take on the Christmastime classic, “The Nutracker,” with rousing Tchaikovsky accompaniment by the Kansas City Symphony. Favorite wild character amid the glorious holiday spectacle? I’d say the idea of a Sugar Plum Fairy is pretty out there. As is a Mouse King. Or, for that matter, a Nutcracker Prince as imagined in little Clara’s dream … if it really was a dream. Wild!

Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1 and 5 p.m.; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $89-$134.

3. Kansas City Sword Fighting LARP

Live Action Role Playing (LARP) is the sort of thing you might think your weird cousin would be into, unless you’re the weird cousin and then who cares what people think. Whoever you are, here’s your chance to play outdoors with foam swords. Need I say more? Here’s some more anyway: If you’ve ever wanted to battle like a medieval warrior on a heroic quest – and who hasn’t at one time or another? – consider having a bash with the local chapter of Amtgard, a global society of medieval and fantasy combat sports enthusiasts. If you’re a first-time foam sword fighter without the appropriate gear, have no fear – onsite loaner equipment is provided to newbies. Actually, maybe have a little fear. Getting whomped by plastic is still getting whomped.

Sunday, noon; Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam, Kan.; participation is free.

4. Howl at the Moon’s Ugly Sweater Party

Ugly is such an unpleasant word. So how about wild, instead? Regardless, you’ll have plenty of out-of-control artistic freedom to appear as dreadfully dressed for the holidays as possible at Howl at the Moon’s annual Ugly Sweater Party. Wrap yourself in Santa-inspired kitsch as singing performers wrap themselves around familiar hits. There’s a cash prize for ugliest sweater of them all, so get totally wild with the threads – if you’re 21 or older. Sorry, kids, you’ll have to enjoy your own bad taste at home.

Friday, 7 p.m.; Howl at the Moon, 1334 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free with an ugly sweater.

5. Jackyl

Veteran hard rock band Jackyl isn’t against employing a wild new idea now and then, but it’s tough to top the chainsaw solo in the band’s 1992 opus, “The Lumberjack.” So excuse the guys if the chainsaw stays in the act, which it almost certainly will when Jackyl returns to Kansas City led by original lead singer, guitarist and gas-powered chainsaw player Jesse James Dupree. And they say rock is dead. Tim-ber!

Friday, 7 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20.

6. Penguin March

Sometimes wild animals like to chill, but they’re still wild, so you never quite know what to expect. Whatever their disposition, King and Gentoo penguins will “march” in public view this weekend at the Kansas City Zoo. Ready, set, waddle!

Saturday and Sunday, 11-11:15 a.m.; Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $13-$16 (ages 2 and younger free).

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at brianmctavish@gmail.com.

Brian McTavish follows popular culture in the belief that the search for significance can lead anywhere. Brian explains, "I've written articles and reviews ... reviewed hundreds of concerts, films and plays. And the thing is, these high arts all sprang from the pop culture of their day. Don't forget: Shakespeare was once Spielberg."
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